If you say that money is the most important thing, you’ll spend your life completely wasting your time: You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is, in order to go on doing things you don’t like doing — which is stupid! -- Alan Watts
We are always saying things like this like we are having an original thought. It is a good question: "What if money was no object?" 

The truth is, however, that Watts, whom I enjoy, is a little off, as so are we, because he does not imagine community and mutual service in this. He imagines, however, "getting a good fee" eventually, for one's passion, and that does not happen for most of us. 

Certainly, that is what I wish for myself, at the least of what I wish. But I actually wish for something more than getting a good price for all of what I am because I know it will not happen for most of us, most of us will not get a good price, and we are not livestock either. 

We will also not get what we desire, not really, not with a one dimensional view of what it is that we desire -- usually to do a task, not for what reason do we do the task -- for what human reason? You like to bake? Why? Whom will you feed? And this applies to people, like me, passionate about Big Ideas, like justice and peace. Who is that for? 

Nor will the passionate be self-supporting, as a class, such as we are, in a one dimensional view of the economy in which we exist. Human beings are, in the end, only as good as we agree we can be. It is very hard to be significantly more wise, kind, productive and so on than our social agreements allow for, and not be suicidal, which is no good. And yet, the paradox is that we each must push that nearly suicidal boundary with steady will and talk and talk and talk our way to possibilities that honor life.

What if money was no object? That is a much bigger question than the one we usually answer when we ask it. 

 


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